Brockwood Park 1982
Brockwood Park 2nd Public Question & Answer Meeting 2nd September 1982
I wonder why you all listen to me? (Laughter) I am asking this seriously, not flippantly: why we listen to others, not that we shouldn't but why? Either we listen to somebody who knows his subject very well and we want to be informed on it, or we turn to some specialist, professional, who will discuss his particular study, or we listen to some music - Mozart, Beethoven and so on - and we are delighted by it, stimulated by it, see the beauty of it and enjoy it. And when we ask why you are listening to the speaker, in which category do you put him in? I think it would be necessary and right if we could probe into these questions co-operatively, that is, we all share together in the exploration of these questions, co-operate, not that the speaker reads a question, investigates it, but if we could do it together it would be really extraordinarily good and important. Few of us know how to co-operate. We co-operate round an idea, if we agree with that idea, or we co-operate round an ideal to be certain that ideal is carried out, then we all get together if we agree with that ideal, that is, if it pleases us, that ideal. Or we co-operate round a person, some authority, as we do round a bishop, or a priest, or a guru, or any of those people. But it all implies, does it not, that we co-operate about something, or with something, or with something. But here we are not co-operating in that sense. We want the co-operation that is not personal, that is nothing to do with ideas, authority and so on but the feeling of co-operation. I wonder if I am making myself clear. Feeling that, let's all tackle this problem together. Because that is the problem of most of our lives, we have so many problems, physical, psychological, and problems invented by thought. And we live with these problems everlastingly until we die. We are never free of any problem. We are always carrying them with us and we never try to find out what it means to live a life without a single problem, psychologically first, not outwardly, which we generally do. Let us solve the outward problems first and then we will tackle the other. But I don't think it ever works that way. We have to solve the psychological problems first and then the other problems can be intelligently, co-operatively, understood and acted upon. So please we are co-operating together, not that you are co-operating with the speaker or with what he says, but coming together to resolve some of these problems.
1st QUESTION: Most of us are married, or involved in a close relationship which began for all the wrong reasons you have so correctly described. Can such a marriage or relationship ever be made into a really positive force? (Laughter)
You poor chaps! Now how do we tackle this question? We went into the question the other day into what is relationship. What does it mean to be related to another? You may be related very closely, intimately, physically, but are we ever related psychologically, inwardly, not romantically, sentimentally, but the feeling of being related? The word 'relation' means to be in contact, to have a sense of wholeness with another, not as separate entities, then coming together and feeling whole but the very relationship brings about this quality, this feeling of not being separate. This is really quite an important question because most of our lives are so terribly isolated, insulated, carefully structured so that we are not psychologically disturbed. And such relationship will inevitably bring about conflict, disturbance and all the neurotic behaviour that one has. So first let's be clear together what we mean by relationship, not only the meaning of that word, the verbal meaning, but the significance that lies behind the word, behind the two people. What does it mean to be related? Are we ever related in the deep profound sense of that word? Can there be a relationship of that kind, undisturbed like the depth of the sea, can there be a relationship if each one of us is pursuing his own particular path, particular desire, particular ambition and so on? Can there be such relationship with the other if these things exist? If you say, "How can they not exist? Is it not necessary for each one of us to fulfil, each one of us to flower with each other?" - whatever that may mean. That sense of separateness exists. If each of us says we are helping each other to flower, to grow, to fulfil, to be happy together, then one is still maintaining the isolated spirit. Now why does the mind or the brain, the human entity, always cling to separatism?
So, please this is a very, very serious question: why human beings throughout history have maintained this sense of isolation, insulation, separatism, division. You are a Catholic, I am a Protestant. You belong to that group and he belongs to that group. I put on a purple robe, yellow robe or a garland round my something or other, and we maintain this, and we talk about relationship, love and all the rest of it. Now why? Please we are co-operating, investigating together. Why do we do this? Is it either conscious, deliberate, or unconscious, tradition, our education? The whole religious structure maintains that you are separate, separate soul etc. etc. Or is it that thought in itself is separative? You understand? I think I am separate from you. I think my behaviour must be separate from yours, because otherwise there is the fear that we will become automatic, zombies, imitating each other. Is thought the cause of this separatism in life? Please investigate together in this. Thought has separated the world into nationalities - right? You are British, another is a German, I am French, you are Russian and so on. This division is created by thought. And thought assumes that in this separatism, in this division, there is security, belonging to a commune, belonging to the same group, believing in the same guru, believing in the same clothes that one wears according to edicts of the guru, one feels secure, at least the illusion of being secure.
And so we are asking: is it pleasure, the pleasurable desire which is the movement of thought also, that separates us? Right? That is, is thought ever complete, whole? Because thought is based on knowledge, which is vast accumulated experience of man, either in scientific, technological world, or psychologically - right? We have accumulated a great deal of knowledge outwardly and inwardly. And thought is the outcome of that knowledge, thought as memory, knowledge, experience - right? So knowledge can never be complete. We agree? About anything, about god, about Nirvana, about heaven, about science, anything. So knowledge must always go with the shadow of ignorance. Please see this fact together. So when thought enters into the field of relationship it must create a division because thought itself is fragmented, thought itself is limited - right?
If this is clear to all of us - I am not explaining, you are discovering it for yourselves - Then what place has knowledge in relationship? Please this is a serious question, it isn't just a casual, argumentative proposition. This is an enquiry into what place has knowledge, experience, accumulated memories, in relationship? Please answer this yourself, don't look at me. If I say, "I know my wife" - or another form of intimate relationship, I have already put that person into the framework of my knowledge about her, or him. So my knowledge becomes the divisive process. I have lived with my wife, husband, girl, or whatever it is, and I have accumulated information, I have remembered the painful statements she has made or one has made, there is this whole building up of memory as an image, which interferes in my relationship with another. Right? Please observe this in oneself. And she is doing exactly the same thing. So we are asking: what place has knowledge in relationship? Is knowledge love? I may know my wife, the way she looks, the way she behaves, certain habits and so on. That is fairly obvious. But why should I say, "I know her"? - or him. When I say, "I know" I have already limited my relationship. I don't know if you understand? I have already created a block, a barrier between myself and her. Does that mean in my relationship to her I become irresponsible? You understand my question? If I say, "I don't know you basically" am I irresponsible? Or I have become extraordinarily sensitive. If I may use that word, that is a wrong word - I am vulnerable, I have no sense of division, no barrier.
So if I have this quality of mind, brain or feeling that in relationship it is a flowering, a movement, it is not a static state, it is a living thing, you can't put it in a crate and say that is it, don't move from there. Then we can begin to ask: what is marriage? Right? Or not marriage. One may live with another, sexually, companionship, holding hands, talking - you know all the rest of it, and go to a Registrar, or go through a Catholic or Protestant ceremony and I am tied together, only let god put it aside, which means absolutely nothing, just a form of tradition. Or I may live with another without being married. With one in certain conditions, I have taken a vow of responsibility; in the other I don't. And with one I am legally married, separation, divorce becomes rather difficult. With the other it is fairly simple, we each say goodbye and walk off in different directions. And that is what is happening more and more in the world. We are not condemning either. Please we are just looking at this whole problem. The children, responsibility and the feeling of this tremendous burden of children. And there, legally, you are tied. In the other you are not, you may have children but there is always this open door. Now is all relationship in both these cases, a mere form of attraction, biological responses on both sides, the curiosity, the sense of wanting to be with another, which may be the outcome of unconscious fear of loneliness, the tradition which has established this habit. Now in both cases it can become a habit - right? And in both cases there is the fear of loosing, possessing, exploiting each other sexually and all the rest of it follows. Now in both cases what is important? Please we are talking over together, I am not telling you what is or what is not. What is important, necessary in both cases? Responsibility is essential - right? I am responsible for the people I live with. I am responsible, not only with my wife, but I am responsible for what is happening in the world. I am responsible to see that people are not killed. I am responsible. I am responsible to see that there is no violence - right?
So is my responsibility just for the one and for my family, for my children, which has been the tradition? And the family in the West is disappearing more and more. Whereas in the East the family is still the centre, tremendously important, for the family they will do anything, even though they are distant cousins they will keep together, help each other, pull wires for each other. But here it is gradually disappearing altogether.
So seeing all this, the responsibility as it exists in marriage, the responsibility as it exists in the other, living with somebody, we are irresponsible because if we have children our responsibility is to see that they are properly educated, not sent off to some kind of... you know get rid of them as quickly as possible. You see sir, when you go into this problem it becomes extraordinarily complex and extraordinarily vital because if you have children, if I love them as I do and I feel responsible, I am responsible for the whole of their life, and they must be responsible for me for the whole of their life. I must see that they are properly educated, not butchered by war.
So all that is implied in this question. And this question, in investigating it profoundly, unless one has this quality of love everything is just beside the point. If I have no love for my wife, that is I am not pursuing my own self-centred activity and she is not too, but if I am and she is not then the trouble begins. That is if I am attempting not to be self-centred, not to be isolated, to have this feeling of deep affection in which there is no attachment, no possession, not the pursuit of pleasure, and my wife feels the opposite, quite different, then we have a totally different problem. You understand this? Then the problem is: what shall I do? Just leave her, run away, divorce. I may have to. She insists something - you follow, it is not a question to be answered by a few statements but it requires a great deal of inward enquiry into this on both parts. And in that enquiry, in exploring, if there is no love then there is no intelligent action. Where there is love it has its own intelligence, its own responsibility - right?
Can we go on to the next question? Not we are bored with that but relationship is one of the most extraordinary things in life, to be totally, completely related with another, without any sense of me interfering with it, without any sense of the self with all its egotistic pursuits, it doesn't enter into that relationship.
2nd QUESTION: Is our continuous search for security a valid need or a neurotic one? Is there a security that is not the opposite of insecurity?
Can we to on with this question? Shall we? Sir, what is an opposite? The contrary? There is man and woman, light and dark, sunrise and sunset, darkness, there is division between nature and man, actual nature and man. There is division between the man who is tall and the other who is short, light skinned, dark skinned, brown skin, yellow skin and purple skin - they are painting themselves. So there is division, obvious division. A marquee and a house, a dome and a flat surface. Now is there an opposite psychologically at all? Please enquire into this together. Is there inwardly an opposite? We have inwardly the opposite - right? I am good, or bad, and I must be good. I am greedy and I must not be greedy. I am violent and I hope one day not to be violent. So inwardly, psychologically there are opposites. Where there are opposites inwardly there must be conflict - right? That is so. I am violent, but thought has created a state of non-violence which is the opposite of what I am actually, what is. And I am struggling through time, experience, to become non-violence - right? Please, can we go on with this?
So 'what is' and 'what should be', so there is conflict. Now 'what should be' is non-fact, it is not so; 'what is 'is my violence. That is all; not "I should become non-violent". I wonder if we see this clearly. 'What is' is far more important than 'what should be'. Because 'what should be' will never take place because 'I will be one day'. And in the meantime I am sowing the seeds of violence all the time. So psychologically the opposite does not exist actually. It is an illusion that there is an opposite. Now if the mind, if our conditioning is to create the opposite, if we are free from that conditioning then we can look at 'what is'. Right? So let; look at 'what is'.
What actually is, is that we are insecure. I am seeking security but the actual fact is I am insecure, uncertain, confused, waffling about, moving from one thing, one family to another, one woman to another, one man to another, one guru to another - you follow? I am seeking security and I think there is security in nations, in a community, in a family, or if I am fairly intelligent I say, "No, there is no security but there is security in god." - in obeying, in following, in accepting. But the fact remains all the time that there is this feeling of deep insecurity. So can we put away the search for security psychologically and enquire into what is insecurity? Then I can deal with it. But if I am all the time seeking security and I see very well I can't find it, in churches, in priests, in books, in people, in gurus, in ideas, there is none of it, I see that. So I come back and say now, I am insecure, why? What is insecurity? I am talking first of all psychologically, not first secure outwardly, then secure inwardly. But first psychologically I am enquiring into insecurity. Please see the importance of this. The Communists, Socialists and various other groups have tried to find, bring about security for man outwardly, and they have all failed. The Communists started out - you know, I won't go into all that. All kinds of propositions, ideals and then ended up in Totalitarianism.
So unless we tackle, grasp the inward structure of human behaviour, human mind, psychologically, merely the outward coating will have no effect. One doesn't realize this. So first we are seeking together, trying to find out, why psychologically we live in insecurity, while we feel insecure - right? Not the other. Why? Now when I am insecure, and I know I am insecure, is there subtle urge, subtle intimation, that there is security? You understand? I am insecure. I am married and all the rest of it, but I feel insecure. But there may be also deep down in me the feeling that there is somewhere security and I am pursuing that unconsciously though I am trying to investigate insecurity - you follow? I wonder if you see this? I must be very clear that I am not surreptiously under the table seeking security though I profess I am insecure.
So we must be clear right through our being that one lives in insecurity - why? Then we can ask the real question, but if you are half and half - you know half and half about anything you become mediocre. That is a good subject, mediocrity, but we won't go into that. The word 'mediocrity' means going up the mountain half way. A person who goes half way is mediocre, who doesn't go right to the top of it, not in professions, not in some particular subject, but psychologically he doesn't go right to the top of it, such a person is mediocre. I am not saying you are! (Laughter)
So what is insecurity? Can there be security at all? Don't be depressed, don't feel anxious, we are investigating. Can there be, though I am seeking, wanting, searching, longing for security, realizing I am insecure, I am also asking: is there really security at all? My search for security may be wrong. What I am seeking is not security but a quality of mind, brain, that will meet everything rightly - right? I wonder if you understand this? I feel insecure and I see life is insecure, there is death always, there is always an accident, there is always something happening, shaking my foundations. I realize that and I say to myself is there security at all? Wait a bit, don't deny it, I am questioning it, going into it, because security is necessary. The brain can only function effectively, vitally, fully with all its extraordinary capacity when it is secure, like a child, baby, must be secure. So the brain must feel that it is completely secure, not be shaken, it must be immovable in its security, then the brain is flowering - you understand? Are we following each other?
So let's find out if there is security at all. And if there is no security the brain cannot possibly function properly. So we are asking: what is security and insecurity? Are you getting tired? We are going to find out first what is insecurity, why we live perpetually in insecurity. Now in that very enquiry, why we live in this state, confusion and all the rest of it, the very awareness of it is the beginning of intelligence. Right? Are you following this? Now let's begin again.
I am insecure. I have searched for security, which is, run away from my insecurity, which is, I have created the opposite and I am in conflict with it: knowing insecurity and wanting security. There is a struggle going on. So I see how stupid that is. The very recognition of this is the beginning of intelligence - right? Are you following? Are we together in this?
Questioner: Not completely.
K: Not completely. Sir, look: we have divided the world into nationalities, and it is nationalities that is one of the major causes of war - right? One of the causes, the economic and so on and so on, but one of the causes is this feeling that we are separate from this person, you follow, nationalities. Now to recognize that and to be free of it is to be intelligent. No? Or would you want to be unintelligent? (Laughter) No, this is important, please. To recognize, to see that which is false and to abandon that is intelligence. Right?
Now I see, after investigating, which we have done, there is no security in belief - right? - because belief changes all the time. It can be argued down, it can be broken down, faith, belief, ideals bring doubt to it and it begins to disappear. So there is no security in that. Therefore my brain has seen that which is illusory, which it has considered before as giving it security, it has abandoned it. So it has become alive, intelligent. And it says: is there security at all? There is when there is intelligence - I don't know if you follow this? Intelligence is the most positive force of security. Right? Is this clear? To abandon psychologically everything that is false, to perceive it, to see it very clearly is intelligence. Where there is intelligence you don't even ask whether you are secure or insecure.
So, can we then, together, see the nature of security and insecurity, and in that very examination, observation, probing, discover for ourselves, not because anybody says, discover for ourselves that there is supreme security where there is intelligence? Not the cunning thought of intelligence - right?
Can we go to the next question?
3rd QUESTION: Would you please clarify what you mean by brain, mind and consciousness?
I am not going to clarify, we will talk over together. First of all we are not professionals, thank god: We are enquiring, not that professionals don't enquire, I don't mean that. We are ordinary laymen, we are enquiring into this very, very complex problem which is, consciousness, the quality - not the structure, the nature, the cells and all that, but the brain and the mind - right? Please don't look at me, look at yourselves.
First of all consciousness: to be conscious, which is to be aware, which is to be attentive, not negligent, but diligently enquire into the nature of our consciousness. There has been the division as the unconscious and the conscious. The unconscious is all the past, all the inheritance, all the memories of thousands of years of man - right? Unconsciously you may have the memories of being conditioned in Protestantism and Hinduism and all the rest of it, two thousand years of Christianity and propaganda has sewn deeply the fear of heaven and hell, the saviour - you follow? - it is there deeply. And if you go to the Islamic world, it is there also. And the Hindu world and so on. So the unconscious is the movement of the past. We won't go into too many details because it is a very complex question we are going into. The past is a thousand memories, thousand years of pain, struggle and all the travail of man. The unconscious is the idea that you are British, French and so on. And the conscious, as one observes, one may be wrong, one must always be doubting, the conscious is all the recent covering, education, technology, the covering. That is, the conscious mind has often the intimations of the unconscious - right? You are following all this? And the conscious mind is always, if one is at all aware, is being guided by the unconscious. You follow? So there is actually, if one is at all alive, aware, there is no unconscious and the conscious. It is one unitary movement, if one is alive, fully aware. And one is fully aware when there is a crisis, when there is some deep disturbing challenge everything, your whole consciousness comes into action. And our consciousness is everything that thought has put there - right? Our belief, our tradition, our faith, our fears of heaven and hell, our fears, you know, our whole movement of our life is our consciousness. That consciousness is part of our brain, of course. If I have no brain I have no consciousness. So the brain is part and the necessary movement of consciousness, acting through, or in the brain. Now the brain - I am not professional, please, I have discussed this point with professionals but they won't accept what we are saying but that doesn't matter, I may be false, I may be wrong. We are saying the brain is now conditioned - right? Technologically, look how much energy has gone into technology. Our brain is limited, conditioned through vast experience, knowledge, conditioned. But to discover the quality of the brain which is not conditioned and therefore infinite capacity, look at what the technological people are doing, they are not conditioned, they are enquiring, pushing, driving to find out, and therefore they have got extraordinary capacity - the atom bomb, the things the technicians, the scientists are creating, some of you don't even know about it, the horrors. So the brain has infinite capacity. But it is conditioned now as British, as French, and all the rest, I believe, I don't believe, I believe in god, in my guru, that guru is better than this guru - you follow? All that nonsense is going on.
So as it is conditioned its capacity is limited, and only when that conditioning is totally free, that means no faith, no fear, you follow? - no attachment of any kind to anything, to past memories, past experiences. And they are that way when they are technologically involved, they are tremendously alive, I have talked to them. They have no time, they brush you off. So is it possible for the brain to be unconditioned? Which means is it possible for the brain to be free of the known? That is, I have to know where I have to go home, which road to take, what language I speak, I have to, there is knowledge, but to be free psychologically, which is the conditioning, which the brain has been conditioned, conditioned by knowledge, to be free of that then it has got extraordinary capacity.
Then we are saying what is the mind? First of all we talked of consciousness, the brain and the mind. When the brain is completely free of that psychological knowledge, then the brain is the mind, because mind is infinite. So to understand all this you have to study yourself, not from books, not from other people, you have to look at your own life, give time, energy, patience, probing. We haven't time because we are chattering all the time. So mind, brain and consciousness are really one, when there is total freedom of all conditioning.
Shall we go on?
4th QUESTION: When we see someone being aggressive verbally or physically towards another, we feel a need to intervene. Can such intervention be just? Or is it a mere subtle reaction of the self?
Can't one find out for oneself, this? Can't one be aware of one's own reaction and see whether it is a self motivated reaction, or it is kindly - you know somebody is hurting, you naturally interfere. But if one is not aware of one's own reactions, it may be selfish reaction, make you self important. Is this question good enough, may I go to the next one?
5th QUESTION: The violence and disorder of the world demands from us an urgency and intensity of response, which we seem to lack. Our intellectual awareness is inadequate. Can there be a deeper awareness which meets the enormity of the problem?
Let's enquire together please, what is it to be aware? To be aware, to be conscious, to be cognizant, to be sensitive to everything, to nature, to people round you, sensitive in your own reactions, what does it mean to be aware? Is one aware of this marquee? Or you take it for granted? Have you counted the number of poles in this marquee? Have you looked at the trees, not give it a name, but to be aware of it, to be sensitive to it. Or is one aware of the person sitting next to you? Aware of his physical movement, how he looks at people, aware of his clothes, his dress or whatever it is. Or we are all so self-centred, we haven't time, we have no regard for another. We are so entangled with our own problems, with our own misery, that we don't look at anything else. So to be aware, does it not mean to see, feel, look, without any choice of what is happening? To be aware of what is happening in the world, not necessarily from newspapers and magazines but to be aware that there are wars going on, people are killing each other, thousands of years of shedding tears and we don't seem to have learnt anything. To be aware of all this without any choice. One is aware as a British, what is happening here, one knows very well. But one isn't aware globally as a human being. So are we aware in such a sense, a global feeling of mankind, not the Arab and the Israelis and British and the French and so on - it all becomes rather silly, all that kind of stuff. To be so aware of this human suffering, human sorrow, human pleasure. And if one is so aware, which is not concentration at all, aware, then the questioner says: is there an awareness of something very deep, from which you act? That is what the questioner says, asks. Then there is attention. Awareness and attention, not concentration. Concentration is merely focussing all your energy on a particular point. That we can do fairly easily. When you are interested in certain subjects, certain ideas, certain story, you are completely concentrated. Or you may force yourself to concentrate, which is to resist other intrusions of other thoughts. But awareness is different: to be aware, to be sensitive, to have this feeling of a movement which is total, which is human. And attention is this quality in which there is no centre from which you are attending, which means no frontiers to attention, no borders. When there is that quality of attention, which is part of love and compassion, and intelligence, then from there one acts, or non acts.
Shall we go on to the next one? It is the last one.
6th QUESTION: At the talks you give many of us feel, or sense, something of immeasurable importance. This is not romantic fantasy, or illusion. It is more profoundly real than much of the rest of our lives. But after I leave I cannot stop the gradual dissipation of that great profoundness. Sir this is a true tragedy. What can one do?
First, if I may most respectfully ask, are you being influenced? Are you being stimulated? Are you being driven by the words of the speaker, or the feeling of the speaker, that what he says is true - if you think so. Are you being influenced by all that? Then if you are influenced, and I hope you are not, if you are, then it becomes a drug, then you lose it. Then you can't help dissipating that which you have been driven to, or influenced, or that which has been said or felt. If it acts as a drug then it must disappear. Quickly or gradually. But if one - this again is being said most humbly - if one actually hears what is being said and discovers for oneself the truth, then one is a light to oneself. That light itself can never be put out, can never be extinguished. But if one is dependent on another, however much the other may have something, if it is not part of one's life, one's daily beauty of this, then dissipation is inevitable. And the tragedy is that all of us do listen, sometimes profoundly, sometimes casually but that very seed is there, but we never give it an opportunity to let it flower. The world is too much with us. And to be conscious of all this, the vastness of the earth, the vastness of the human brain, and love and all that, is so, if one comes to it, not just verbally, romantically or sentimentally, but actually, then that fire can never be put out.
Right sirs. May I get up please?
Brockwood Park 1982
Brockwood Park 2nd Public Question & Answer Meeting 2nd September 1982
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